Been traveling again, but no worries, as I think most all the takeaways from the cup final, good and bad, were covered nicely in the comments.

I did have a chance to watch a couple matches over the weekend, and given that I was trying to explain Villa to my companions, what I was really focusing on were passages of play where I could say, “If that were Villa, here’s what you’d see.”

The focus for a while has been on our defending. Or lack thereof. Only Southampton and Norwich have conceded as many as us, and we’ve played two fewer. Likewise, goal difference leaves us pretty much in the same neighborhood as Bournemouth, Watford, and West Ham. So we score but we also ship 1.9 per match. Let’s call it two. And of course everyone wants to know why. What’s Terry doing? What’s Dean not getting right?

The things I had sort of had confirmed for me while detachedly watching other matches were the things I came in thinking: defensive midfield woes, lack of coordination and commitment in the press, and a tendency to simply sink too deep.

Midfield, we’ve all seen it. Lack of bite and tenacity. It’s been there in flashes, but hardly consistently enough. We’re timid, and don’t have aggressive ball-winners. At some point with our backs to the wall, players do tend to get more desperate and stuck in, and it usually turns the tide a bit, though it’s generally too little too late.

Now, could be by design, but I don’t think so. I think the players simply aren’t getting their heads round the fact that they have to be fighting and looking to frustrate and win the ball for 90 minutes. They’re afraid of being exposed, getting beaten, making a mistake. Which also is part of the lack of coordination in the press. Too often you’ll see the front three closing down, only to be undone by players not closing up on the outlets. Two passes and the press is beaten. Then we’re chasing shadows, caught in no-man’s land. The opposition finds itself it lots of space, and our shape is ruined. The failure to commit whole-heartedly completely negates any pressure further upfield and worse, it makes that pressure ill-advised.

In short, fear of overcommitting, and a fear of losing, too often takes hold, to my mind. You stop worrying about that when you’re chasing a game with 20 minutes to go. But it’s how you need to start matches as well as finish.

That same fear is what drives sitting too deep. The backline has to push a little further up, and to do that, the midfielders have to be challenging further up. But they look to be afraid of being got behind. Afraid to come up and challenge. So you end up in a line afraid of being passed around, and watch all sorts of dangerous players pick passes with no one putting them under pressure. And obviously when you’re deep, there’s much less margin for error when we fail to clear, and it starts pinballing around.

Set pieces? Concentration and determination. You can’t ball-watch. You have to go win it, simple as. You can’t sort of stick with a man and not challenge or put him off. Who wants it more?

Basically, you can’t me tell me that John Terry doesn’t know how to defend a corner, that he doesn’t know what works. Which means it’s execution, rather than instruction. Zonal or man, you’re determined to get to the ball first or at least stop them getting to it cleanly. You can’t hesitate or get bullied.

It’s not a complicated game. It can be damn hard to play it well, but the concepts aren’t rocket surgery. We’ve simply been outfought and outworked too much of the time. I think we all loved Nakamba taking Aguero down rudely and decisively. That’s what we need more of.

Then of course there’s decision-making, and you could write a book on that. There’s a lot of rushed and headless play. Players not wanting the ball, or wanting to do too much. Players afraid to play it quickly when it’s there. Players not settling it down when it’s not. Players playing it back instead of turning a man and creating space. Players, particularly Hause in the 3-4-3, trying longer, penetrating passes that find no one, and leave us exposed with half the side trying to break upfield.

Anyway. All it means is that when we fight and play without fear we’re much more competitive. And there’s just enough quality to get goals at a very reasonable rate. Samatta’s not done. Jack probably needs to shoot more. We’ve seen that Luiz has a lovely ball in him, and so on. Ghazi will frustrate, but can also deliver a great ball and be in the right places. Trez? Well, he needs to calm down for a start.

All this to say that if Villa fight, we stay up. And maybe they feel their backs are to the wall finally, and start playing like they have nothing to lose now that we’ve finally dropped into the bottom three.

Tough ask away at Leicester tonight and really needing a win. But we’ve gone 1-1-1 against them, and we got results by showing enough fight.

Over to you.

Comments 137

  1. Chances of us winning tonight?

    Slim to none I’d say. We just don’t have enough quality to hurt teams

    I hope Trez and Ghazi aren’t involved. I’d like to see Davis and Sammata and us be brave for once, but we won’t be. Will be 451 or 541.

  2. Grealish stuck out wide again. Wasted. A right back on the wing with no bloody pace

    For f**k sake Smith just go 442 or 4312.

    We won’t have any attacking threat

  3. Frem. Get a grip. We will win tonight for sure.

    Grealish and Samatta will do the business for us.

    Sending you a big digital hug so you can overcome your anxiety

  4. Frem,

    I think you can line Jack up in the middle, but he’s in there are lot anyway. Drifting left is his tendency, then he comes back. Natural to him, and opens the field up differently.

  5. Probably the biggest issue with SJM’s absence has been the lack of inside attacking midfield threat on the other side from Jack. He was struggling before he went out, McGinn, but coming in from the right when Jack pulls things left…He had space to work with.

  6. Evening all , smith said this earlier so let’s just get behind the team we just might win .

    “If you want to go and get Premier League experience as a newly-promoted team, with a short period in which to get these players in which we had after winning the play-offs, you just get priced out of the game.

    “We did what we had to do. We knew we were signing a lot of players with potential. There was no other way to do it.”

  7. Jc- yes mate but I’m sick of hearing we have bought badly when the likes of Leeds wanted £30 m for Phillips , that list went on and on. I don’t think dean got anywhere near who he wanted yet we are still in with a chance, he’s done ok all considered, not his fault we have taken a knife to a gunfight.

  8. Smith needed to go months back

    We can’t retain possession. The striker is so isolated. We can’t defend corners or crosses. We keep making absolute howlers defensively

    We will go down.

  9. MK…a clean sheet is out of the question every game when you can’t defend simple crosses and you have an Arsewhole in goal. Smith chose to play him again.

  10. How the f***k did Reina get picked again over Nyland?????

    Atrocious lack of marking, no fight to close people down.

    Tonight is going to be a defining moment..

    Somatta needs support..!!

  11. Smith is clueless. I’m sorry but he’s absolutely clueless

    We are a dreadful side

    Just go 442.

    This one up front is a f**king joke

  12. PP…check the remaining fixtures and ask yourself where more than 2 or 3 points will come from. I predicted 30 a few weeks ago, but I can’t think of anyone woeful enough to draw with this shower

  13. PW,

    Not a lot to be happy about…It wasn’t a bad start at all until Reina’s howler. And even then, we were still in the game until the penalty.

    I thought the effort was better, thought we were fighting harder. There was something we could’ve done better for each to stop the ball coming right back (see decision-making, ball-winning).

  14. We didn’t have the goof stuff this evening.

    Hopefully McGinn will be back on Saturday against Chelsea to give this team a much needed boost of confidence

  15. Another team meddle, another team failure…..so sad…..not one player to look at for MOM, Reina and Guilbert for their gifting powers.

    Somatta did his best, but was not strong enough at the crucial moments. Luiz and Nkamba not even noticeable. Worst display by a Premier team this season tactically.

    We ripped apart a championship winning side to form the worst Premiership side since our relegation.

  16. Marc Albrighton not good enough for Lambert or Villa, but still good enough for two assists tonight!
    Added to his Premier league medal.

    Game against Leicester was a turning point in our relegation season when we were 2-0 up and
    lost 3-2, and this looks like being the same.

  17. McGinn won’t play against Chelsea; he’s not even contact training yet. It would make a difference if he did, unless he can play in 7 positions at once

  18. Wouldn’t make a difference. Smith “we didn’t defend corners well enough”…why is that then? He’s been saying the obvious all season. He’s like a spectator

  19. We need to stay positive. Support the players, the managers and the club.

    The fans can have a positive influence on the outcome of the games at Villa Park.

    The club needs our support and positive affirmations.

  20. So angry with tonight’s display after the first ten minutes or so.

    Sven Eriksen watching his new team??

    Will Terry be in charge for the Chelsea game?

    Dean has to accept that he is the manager who keeps selecting these failing teams. We are at the time when the only results that count are points on the board.

  21. Don’t disagree Richard, but am still in process…

    Tomorrow I will be more positive, and on Saturday I will be on the Holte End supporting the boys and baying for victory!!

  22. Absolutely spineless.
    I reckon Reina caught the team fear vibe, & had a rush to his head trying to be super pedro to make up for it.
    Everyone knew it was going to happen.
    Frem it was your fault for predicting the score mate.

  23. All I can do is remind people that apart from Lansbury and Drinkwater, that’s what we have in midfield. People have been upset with Ghazi and Trez, they didn’t start.

    Nyland versus Reina, well, I think he has to go with Nyland, as I said. Post-match, I heard from a commentator, “I can name fix or six in that side I wouldn’t want to be in a relegation battle with. They don’t have the guts for it.”

  24. God bless all the Villa fans this morning who are probably feeling bruised after last night’s performance.

    We still have 30 points to play for.

    Smith needs to have a rethink before the Chelsea game

    Keep the Faith.

  25. Smith needs to stay.
    Is the prem chewing him up and spitting him out…yep. That’s not a deano side we saw last night. He has lost way. trying 3 at back 4 at back. Not happening. Will deano be better for this experience, yes. And we should keep him to beneifit.

  26. Hero
    What exactly is a Smith team,brentford dont miss him,listening to 5 live last commentators couldn’t believe how bad we are good at nothing, Leicester had 2 corners in a matter of minutes and should have scored twice, no other managers wouldn’t be able to drill a defence

  27. Hero
    What exactly is a Smith team,brentford dont miss him,listening to 5 live last commentators couldn’t believe how bad we are good at nothing, Leicester had 2 corners in a matter of minutes and should have scored twice, no other managers wouldn’t be able to drill a defence

  28. see Brentford under the 2 or 3 years smith was at bees and last season in the champ. we played some lovely footy. lets not have short memories.

    This at the moment is us lerching around trying to find a win under pressure.

    Yeah the set piece situation is crazy. every ball in we are in trouble.

  29. Hero
    Smith inherited that side finished 9th 10th 11th I think new man took over they are flying now,we had 4 or 5 standout players last season for league we were in

  30. Brentford are a better team now than they were under Smith. Their results speak for themselves.
    They have players that are playing for their places, and they are becoming a stronger team week by week, and will be surprised if they do not win promotion.

  31. Brentford are a better team now than they were under Smith. Their results speak for themselves.
    They have players that are playing for their places, and they are becoming a stronger team week by week, and will be surprised if they do not win promotion.

  32. Just fyi, if you’ve had trouble accessing the site, there was a server issue. It’s now been resolved (which is why I can type and you read it).

  33. Smith is far from a clueless manager and the stand out players at Brentford came in for peanuts under him along with the ones playing in the prem

    The one criticism I have about smith is that we have not played the type of attacking football I have seen him get is previous clubs play , I do think recruitment has a lot to do with that .. we didn’t get two loan players back that are better than what we have now

    we did need to replace a lot of players due to the dire running of the club before our excellent current owners took over

    Replacing those players to prem quality was almost impossible with ffp which strangles ambitious owners with plenty of there own money which they are not allowed to spend

    its about 30 mil for a good player that has a bigger potential to succeed

    also it was fairly public and obvious who deano wanted to bring in but the rules put a stop to that

    clearly his job is on the line but I sympathise with the whole situation and its not just smith that will go .. a big result needed next game at the very least a big performance or I think we will lose a good manager but trust the owners to not replace him with a sub standard manager

  34. Well, we are starting to see reports that Smith may be on borrowed time. You never know, but I’d certainly be curious to know what makes Compass think Terry or anyone else can get a response before it’s too late.

  35. Nah, Frem’s a good guy, RichardS.

    He love the club, hates where we’re at. His patience has run out. We’re still waiting for the wingers, to be fair.

  36. For all the smith fans do explain why he so good
    His time at brentford he never picked the players just coached them yes he gave us under bruce a rodding but to be honest most sides did,brentford are doing a lot better since he left
    Us our fitness levels are not good enough we concede so many second half goals its criminal
    Our defensive set plays ,how many times we are marking thin air as 5 live said on monday night,smallest guys picking up tallest opponents
    Our corners 1 goal in nearly 30 matches
    His choice of subs in aresnal match we were 2 1 up arsenal down a man we lost 3 2,west ham match they were down a man he sent elmo on we drew no score,liverpool match put on kodga when we were leading with few mins left and to top it off kodga was left marking mane for winning goal,spurs match puts baston on his header leads to spurs winner
    Our signings or his heaton hause konsa target jota and drinkwater
    His treatment of nylan,renia was shocking soton didnt play in final which nylan was excellent yet dropped for monday night
    And finally drinkwater why o why Burnley couldn’t wait to bomb him out and it shows

  37. Smith had his best players sold at Brentford to build a stadium and the guy who is now manager was chosen by him to train for that position. Smith was chosen to provide entertainment and attacking football that’s why warburton fell out with the owner.

  38. We can all argue for’s and against’s for Dean and his time at Brentford, but the team they have now is the best that they have had, and the results speak for themselves.

    Dean did an amazing job at the end of last season with what he had, by playing to their strengths, and keeping to the same players every week on the run in.

    This season it has been completely different with different players in different positions, poor substitutions, and a total lack of an experience in defensive mid field in front of the back four, hence the poor recruitment of Drinkwater, as it has turned out. A failure to produce a strong cohesive back four has also been a further failing, coupled with the poor backing for Wesley up front in the early games.
    We should accept that we got rid of too many players who could have played a part in the early days of our promotion, when we got rid of Richie de Laet, Hutton, Elphick, Whelan and Bjarnason, none of whom may have been great, but their experience, knowledge of each other, etc could have all helped with blooding new players gradually. The cost of their contracts would hardly have made a huge difference to Villa’s costs.

    Anyway, our position is what is , and our fate will be decided within the next few games, and Dean and his team need to rise to the task now. No more crazy Pep Reina goalkeeping, reward the guy who has given his all in most of his games, and did not deserve the blame for the Man City hiding.
    4-4-2 has to be the way with Davis and Samatta up front terrorising defences, and reducing the pressure on the back four.

  39. Pp- so if a team builds for the future buying and selling to produce a better team until that season they come good it’s nothing to do with what’s come before then? Villas position is everything to do with what’s come before as was RDM’s Bruce’s and Deans jobs effected by circumstances. If the new manager has done well on the back of a long term build something is working.

    I would also argue the champs is a very level league this year not much difference between teams at the top end . Brentford have had a good team and played good football for years, this year they might make play offs or go up as they did previously.

    All in all I don’t think dean is the difference or he would not have been there for three seasons with an ambitious owner.

  40. JG – let me ask you why you think this team is good enough to stay in the prem with another manager. What fighting qualities and survival know how do they possess?

    The press thought we were doing a Fulham pre season but we hoped not , as the season rolls on it’s looking like we have made a better go of it but in the end it might not be enough.

  41. The recruitment of Reina and DD you would assume is a nod to bringing in experience of the league which we clearly lack. As it is they look poor which is as much a product of us being poor as them although DD seems like a lost cause long ago so poor choice. We don’t know what the other options were to the club though, they were unlikely to be fantastic as we are not that attractive to players.

    Fate can be a bugger and the loss players forcing the clubs hand in jan rather than giving opportunity to improve we have added players to stand still.

    I think when you see a quality player like mahrez struggle at city in his 1st season you can understand why a large proportion of new players in a tough league looks like it does imo.

  42. So prem games behind closed doors

    The players won’t have any reason to show any fight or bother now, not like we were before

    That’s us utterly f**ked

    Imagine playing

  43. We can’t have any room for sentiment towards Smith

    We have to survive and we won’t with him

    Sky shows some stats yesterday

    We were 20th in basically evey department

    Most goals conceded. Chances conceded. Erros leading to goals. Goals conceded from set plays. All 20th and there were another 5 or 6 i can’t remember

    I’ve been to every home game this season and one awya game in Burnley. The only games we looled ok were Burnley away and Everton at home

    Apart from that, we have been awful. We are the worst footballing side in the league

    And suso needs to go.

    To think we got Drinkwater in when we needed wingers. Trez and Ghazi are just awful players

    The club are a mess. Suso and Smith all clueless

  44. Frem – if it wasn’t for Smith you would not be watching grealish now nor in this league. On one hand the players are cr*p on the other big Sam would change all that?

    We could of sacked smith at xmas and still go down for yet another manager to rebuild in the champs. Me I’m ready to do that if necessary.

    Lastly we don’t have to survive, at least not in this league, we are however in a better position than last time we dropped thanks to Smith and the owners.

  45. Mark

    Let’s be honest, we went up because Grealish returned from his injury. Let’s not forget how tactically poor we were when Grealish was injured. Didn’t we win one in 10 or something? Smith was clueless without him

    Are we better if we go down? How do you replace losing Mings, Mcginn and Jack?

    Then the likes of Luiz won’t stick around, or Sammata. Then the rest left are cr*p really

  46. We’re screwed. The second half collapse at Leicester should not happen if we are fighting to survive. It did happen and I don’t think we will.

    Drinkwater has been a disaster. I want to see some fight during the game, not on the training ground.

  47. Deano must be ruing his statement that his teams gain more points during the 2nd half of the season than they do during the 1st half.

  48. Good comments/thoughts.

    On Leicester, Southampton…It’s players not playing. Simple as. Which of course brings us to Dean, and whether he’s lost them. Me, I don’t know, but Luiz and Nakamba, for example, have looked much the same all along. Grealish giving his all, Mings, too.

  49. Frem- It might be partially true mate that Jack was the reason we got up although Tammy might like a mention and Mcginn, Conor, and a few more. That should tell you something and that is we rely on Jack and have done for a few seasons. Jacks a great player but I don’t think its great to build a team around one player. Yes we won ten when he came back but we had never won ten ever, and don’t forget that Bruce had him and won 3 in 11.

    I’m sure Smith hasn’t intentionally done this its just other players defer to Jack. I think that although he has been fantastic for us it has not helped bring others on. To put it simply they have heaped responsibility on Jack. There is no other team outside of Madrid with Ronaldo or Barca with Messi that are so reliant on one player, and the rest of their team are not exactly cr*p.

    As for players leaving its likely a few will, if Jack Mings and McGinn go you can bet we will have close to £130 m plus the parachutes to build with. I like the look of the lads coming through, there are some very skilful players that play a team game.

    Samatta might surprise you he seems very committed, one of the few that gives a toss on the pitch.

  50. Jack’s definitely the centerpiece. McGinn was a good complement: couldn’t carry the team without Jack. Mings brought needed strength. Conor popped up with a lot of timely goals.

    But, yeah, Jack’s everything to the team. Without anyone else who’s anywhere near as good and quick on the ball, it makes it easy for teams to focus on him. And they know they can press with impunity. You get it to Jack because he’s the only one who can actually do anything with it.

    Defensively, I really do put a large share of our woes from open play on the inability of Luiz, Nakamba, Conor, DD to impose themselves with any consistency. Set pieces? Like I said, you have to just want the ball more. Dean’s said they’re working on it, Mings being zonal and free, everyone else matched up. We’ve seen the lack of commitment to getting to the ball or getting in the way.

    We don’t head well anywhere else on the pitch, either.

  51. So my basic take on the recruits is that the talent is *probably* there. However, as I’ve said over and over, it’s the mentality. They’ve not adapted quickly to the PL, and it might always have been asking too much.

  52. Well at least we’ll all be watching or listening together.
    Can’t see Villa tv giving it away for free.
    Looks like Saturday will be the last match for a while with a crowd, enjoy.
    Considering we all could be toast soon, I’m not going to waste time going on about the obvious, but look forward to Saturday.
    I just hope they’ve found a spine between them

  53. Arteta’s just been diagnosed & he & the Arsenal squad will self isolate.
    Thought we’d been doing that since Christmas.
    I can’t see the season going the full course, I wonder what the SP is for next week being cancelled.

  54. And Leicester in isolation.
    If we could win this, we would be safe if it’s the end of season, with the bottom 3 prematurely going down regardless.

  55. I cannot see the game taking place this weekend

    Who knows what the consequences of COVID-19 will be on the Premier League Season.

    Let’s hope we can start the season again from September.

    Stay safe everyone

    Many reports coming out about Smith and Susso.

    However it was Purslow who was tasked by the owners to keep us in this division and he is on course to miss his key objective.

    The alleged failure of Dean Smith is a collective failure of the strategy of the board

    This board resented the comparison with doing a Fulham- however the evidence suggests this is exactly what we have done

    I do like Dean Smith. He is an honourable man.

    I questioned our recruitment policy at the start of the season

    We have suffered terrible injury problems and that certainly hasn’t helped our survival this season

    However I do remember listening to Big Sam at the start of the season and he questioned our spending policy- too many players – not enough quality. This annoyed me at the time – it is ironic that people are now calling for his appointment.

    And let’s not even mention DD and the headbutting incident- reprehensible behaviour if true

    The end of this season is unfortunately turning sour.

    And surely these will be the last games that we will see Jack in a Villa shirt- if the season continues.

    We have great new owners who have invested uber millions in the club. Only Villa could find ourselves in this position.

    Let’s keep supporting the team and the club. Keep it positive at Villa Park

    The wonderful- the magnificent Aston Villa

    Villa till I die!

  56. Morning Folks- strange how so many footballers seem to be testing positive? or is it they are regularly tested anyway and more attuned to their health?

    My mrs works in care and before xmas their home went into shut down and 7 past away, the nurse said it was corona virus, not sure if it was this strain but I defo had a dose of it. Does make me wonder how long its been out there with the Chinese not exactly known for sharing the truth.

    If the season ended how would you do it ? it would be bedlam with those in the bottom three in with a chance of survival (which might be all of us) binned.

  57. JC- I concur, that Jack, Mcginn, Conor trio just worked. Without that combo something is lacking and unfortunately the step up dampened their effectiveness. Nobody bar from an early McGinn made use of the space Jack creates by being double or triple marked. ElGhazi on occasion did, Trez maybe once or twice after that??

    Sam had a point with his quality comment but he also had no idea about our lack of Depth to accommodate bringing in maybe 6. Nor did he have an inside view of the financials particularly the Wage bill.

    Dean has gone on record saying to buy prem quality in the time frame proved impossible with Villa being priced out of the market. Look at Mings price and Targetts and you get the idea or any above average Champs player.

    Therefore an attempt to keep some continuity by buying Mings, El Ghazi was settled on and Marv for Philips Trez for Benrahma Konsa for Tuenzabe wes for Tammy etc.

    Heaton
    rico henry Tuenzabe Mings Targett

    McGinn Philips Conor

    Benrahma Tammy Jack

    That would be a strong 1st team but below it? The fact Green and Hogan were shipped out surprised me though but also highlighted the financial position.

    Where would the squad have come from? Wheelan has played 9 times for fleetwood, Jedinak no club I think, Hutton retired, of the ones that remained non have impressed, elmo Taylor lansbury they have filled in. So I fail to see how going into the season with Barely 16 and the kids would of worked.

  58. Well all games off until 4th of April which is nuts as May is supposed to be the apex of the infection here. We will see, some are saying ideal time to get a new manager in and they have a point timing wise, over to the owners.

  59. Whether you want a new manager or not these next few weeks are going to throw up all sorts and I doubt if that April 4th will count for much. In reality unless they infect all of the footballers in England now we will likely have the same situation running into June/July if its spread out.

    To boot it depends how the players are effected, if they breeze through then fine if not then we and others will have a squad full of half fit and depleted players , this thing goes for the lungs and thats not a great situation for athletes.

    If we brought in a new manager he’s just as likely to get Corona and not be able to work with the players who are also self isolating.

    On the bright side we could have Wesley back let alone Mcginn 🙂

    Another plus point within a month or so form and match fitness is out the window, almost like a new season start.

  60. As for me I see this season as the start of a rebuild based on sustainability and our youth system, leaving the league while not attractive money wise is not a barrier to that, other than losing a few star players and likely moving on others that don’t suit I would not change much.

    Unless an incredibly talented Coach like Nuno or Wilder turns up I’d let Smith continue to build, just because he cannot keep us up with a cobbled together team in a tough league does not mean he’s worthless or even a cr*p game manager. I am surprised that so many have taken their eye off the clubs aims in the hope we can Scrape by in this league.

    In our present position what would next season look like in this league? Its not likely to be another £140m spend as FFP won’t allow I’d think unless we sell top assets. So its either more of the same or maybe £50m tops (I’m Guessing). As we are likely to have to keep most of the players we have anyway hows that going to look unless they vastly improve?

  61. Oh and apparently there is a chance the season might be cut short and we are down, apparently Purslow went to a meeting and left not looking chuffed.

  62. To my mind, there’s absolutely no way you can cut a season short and relegate or promote teams unless their status was already mathematically guaranteed.

    If I were Compass, I’d be thinking about a lawsuit for the lost TV money if they send us down. I could see more than a few teams joining in, both those going down, and those with a shout at the playoffs or automatic spots.

    You either say that’s it, everything frozen, we’ll go again next year, or you play out the games at decent pace into the summer, delay the start of the next season, and so on til you claw things back. Cancel the cups and international friendlies to help make up lost time.

    It’s not a problem with a precedent, don’t expect anyone to have instant solutions. But because this is so extraordinary, there needs to be some hard thinking done.

  63. The latest is that two get promoted from the champs and we play a 22 team league with 5 going down. ditch one cup. If so then Villa have got away with it.

  64. I have also heard that they are stopping testing and that many medical staff are pretty sure its been here for months, as I said prior it shut a local care home down before xmas with fatalities.

  65. I see no other alternative than to call the season null and void and start again next season. Why? Because should the season look like resuming, the clubs in relegation danger (and there are many) will all say they have players self isolating and the fixtures will be postponed again.

    Add to this situation that huge law suites will be commenced by clubs if any alternative promotion/relegation fudge takes place and I guess we need to start planning for next season in the EPL.

  66. Yeah, the scenario with two getting promoted seems relatively fair. Five going down (while mathematically sensible) will make for a tricky season again.

  67. Seen this on fb
    Which villa players will get the virus
    Reina he cant catch anything
    Luis he wont know what to do with it
    Wes he is always isolated
    Elgazi claims for everything
    Freddy and target it will go passed them like everything else

  68. Mark
    Yes it wouldn’t surprise me, tests & treatment for the rich & nothing for the poor, after being fobbed off by 111 & many GP “stakeholders”, after the NHS has been stripped of resources with the wealth going into the hands of the very people who don’t need it, except to selfishly acquire wealth at any cost.
    Herd immunity my arse.

    My advice is for us to be bloody minded & survive, in spite of the attempts to cull the herd, for our self respect.

    If it was intelligence being used, instead of corona virus & dogma being used to bulls**t, the cull may go the other way.

    You may appreciate this article:
    https://uk.news.yahoo.com/boris-johnson-turned-britain-petri-130300274.html

  69. The trouble is that Carra doesn’t have a brain, & with the huge gamble from Boris at our expense, this pandemic is unlikely to have run itself out by september, even.

    So yes Plug, EPL here we come next season [whatever year that is].

  70. Mark
    We’ve had 2 or 3 evil corona viruses in the past 5 years which kept coming back, along with sars itself back in the day, & this is much worse.
    We’ve has crossover from poultry, swine, bats – twice now, & this particular version is several times worse than any of those, & flue is now paltry comparative to these.

    But remember how many the 1918 flu killed world wide in 1918, plus the following years, before it became herd diluted.
    This is why the world has gone mad, with Boris & his fellow authoritarian leaders gambling with lives.
    By the time this CVirus has got to 60/40 herd strength as they say, it will have killed many thousands.
    Normally the plan would have been to contain as long as possible until someone came up with a cure or immunisation.

    Oh well, life is now cheap in Britain as well, & if people can’t see past the shiny shiny, I can’t help.

  71. IanG- The economic pluses of losing a few have already been pointed out in some papers mate sadly. I am amazed though at the way the west has reacted to the dept and job losses this will incur, from that standpoint they do appear to be trying.

    My mrs says ten died before xmas and a chinese lady had been to china and fell ill and visited her dad who had pneumonia, the place locked down. Local care homes are taking it quite lightly.

  72. Iang- to add my Mrs says at her place of work quite a few of the great unwashed are raiding the shops in preparation for a weeks free hols at home, I kid you not.

    If your stuck mate I will come and get you some grub in .

  73. Mark
    The whole care, general business models & promoted culture seem to be orientated around ‘end of days’ concept.
    This can in practice be almost anything, & is in my experience rarely to be in the person’s interest, more the companies.
    The low pay & standards encourage the end part, & B,ham council have been pushed into near bankruptcy, where everything is hollowed out, & the already bad situation has been pushed beyond the breaking point to everything being on a wing & a prayer.

    Then comes the covid19.

    Again the motivations shows the financial emphasis triumphing over human emphasis, in the emphasis on wealth instead of an approach for all in terms of treatment & tests as a goal at least.
    Where now the trend seems to be continuing the demonising of the poor for a lack of wealth, while constructing everything to make that a sad reality.

    What people will do when they think their advantage is being eroded, turning into enablers when encouraged & given cover by the so called powerful, still shocks me, thankfully.

    At least this blog doesn’t do this.

  74. Mark
    As a proud member of that tribe, I resent that.
    Maybe they’re making sure that those better off won’t nick it all.
    Waitrose here had a run & ran out of bog roll [an unfortunate turn of phrase]the day before Tesco & the peasant’s shops, where the more financially embarrassed, along with the lease generation, probably thought that they were next.

  75. The queen and prince charlie are having a conversation when suddenly the
    Queen said Charles do you know why we are running out of big roll
    Charles, no mummy
    Queen well when one person sneezes another hundred s**t themselves

  76. Really starting the sound like the season will be void

    How lucky are we? Because make no mistake we were going down

    But apparently Liverpool might not get thr title

    Tgats a bit harsh

  77. Iang- apparently the bog roll thing was because someone said it’s all produced in China which it’s not. Isn’t the net a wonderful thing. Booked a table to take my mom out or Mother’s Day she declined as it wasn’t a good idea cheek 🙂

    This could be an unmitigated disaster or the biggest damp squib since the millennium bug .

  78. We can renew contracts still

    But what happens with income money? Like if the season just gets cancelled, and we stay up, do we get prem money?

    Because we won’t be able to spend otherwise

    Will the fincaes of last summer just be wrote off?

  79. Frem – a lot is tied into the tele money, final positions etc I assume they will not be dropping prices at sky for no sport? I think people will just have to go on goodwill or many businesses will go tits up. That will be hard though for the likes of a builder I came across who said his mate had spent three weeks in his Ski lodge in Italy and was due for at least 2-3 weeks quarantine in milton keynes on return, cost him around 6 grand in wages and costs for holiday with the family. You can see how people might not be happy to pay out for nothing.

    If Sky and BT don’t get paid then the prem won’t but the Teams are a business too and as such will have to cough up wages etc. They have bought players and thats that.

  80. I hope that by the end of this people realise that vaccines and drugs etc are not the only answer to staying alive. Nearly all drugs lower immunity, cholesterol and particularly LDL are a vital part of your immune system, all things that fly in the face of modern thinking and approaches. We should be moving toward extending health not prolonging life, two very different approaches with the same effect but vastly different outcomes.

    This might be helpful to a few of you.

    https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2020/03/16/quercetin-vitamin-d-coronavirus-prevention.aspx?cid_source=dnl&cid_medium=email&cid_content=art1HL&cid=20200316Z2&et_cid=DM482889&et_rid=830311807

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